4 May 2011

Those who *can*, teach - Word of the Week

(Teacher n:  one who teaches, Etym: from `Teach` to show, point out," also "to give instruction," from PreGermanic. *taikijanan cf. Old High German. zihan, Ger. zeihen "to accuse," Goth. ga-teihan "to announce")

So, er, this post is going to be a little bit dedicated to my husband. And to all the people who teach us - not just in school - but anywhere in life.

Last week, when I was (ahem) rock climbing in Dorset, it occurred to me how miraculous it was that I was, in fact, 18 metres above the sea, attached to a rope, balancing on the corner of a cliff edge with just my hands and feet. How on earth had husbando persuaded me to do this I wondered? 

And I wondered it again when I was 10 metres up another (seemingly) sheer cliff face. And again when we were on a 1 foot wide scrabbly, rocky, stinging nettle-y path with a drop down to the sea on one side. And also when I tripped over and pricked my finger on a bramble bush and might have burst into tears.

And then I realised how bloody amazing it was that I was doing all these amazing, cool, challenging things that I never, in a million years, thought I would ever be able to do. Especially given that I am terrified of heights. And bugs, and generally beings more than 2 mins from hot and cold running shops/coffee/water/civilisation.

So it got me thinking about how I've been able to do all this and who taught me to have the strength to do it. I know I've bl0gged about motivation before, but this post is more about the people or books or movies or songs or other things that have taught you do things you never thought you could do.

For example with the climbing and also writing, husbando has taught me, weirdly, to trust. He has taught me to trust him, that he won't leave me alone when I'm scared or give up on me when I've given up on me. He won't laugh at me when I look like an idiot or fuss about peeing outside. He didn't get cross when I had a full on tantrum half way up a rock face and called him an asshole He just stuck in there for the long run. 

It might sound sappy or naff but he's taught me what it means to love and trust someone - leading by example I guess. No matter how many times I want to give up my writing or climbing, he always tells me that I can do it, he has this unwavering belief in me. It's incredibly powerful. He's teaching me to believe in myself and my abilities - but also about loyalty and perseverance. 

It's not just husbando who's taught me these things - I don't have the space to list all the lovely people (internet weirdies some of them) who have held my hand and taught me to believe in myself - but I think it's important to take the time to remind ourselves of these lessons that are learned outside of the classroom. Some of these lessons are invaluable when it comes to new ventures - whether it be writing, blogging, climbing, creating, working etc

I guess the biggest lessons I have learnt, therefore, when it comes to challenging myself are:

  • Trust: in yourself and what you are doing
  • Honesty: own what you do, whether it's good or bad, it's still yours, who is anyone else to judge
  • Love: if you don't love it, why are you doing it? Remember though, that the line between love and hate can be fine sometimes! But if it puts a fire in your belly, you should keep going.
  • Humility: you're not perfect and you're not going to get it right all the time. So what!
  • Kindness: go easy on yourself, sometimes there are no rules or guidance, sometimes there's too much guidance and you just have to figure it out for yourself.
  • Belief: it'll be okay - it's not brain surgery after all!
So, who are your teachers? What have you learnt from them? And are you reminding yourself of these informal lessons when you need them - you might be surprised by how comforting these can be on dark days. Here's to all our teachers, whoever and wherever they might be. And specially to my husbando, he's a bit of a star :)

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

PS I wrote this blog listening to the Juno soundtrack. It's lovely and I highly recommend it :)

PPS I have refrained from taking the medication for my muscle spasm until I have finished this blog post, after last night's debacle! You may be amused to know that last night I forgot the word `serious` and laughed like a drain when reminded of it. I also laughed hysterically at pretty much everything everyone said. In the morning I had much embarrassment. DRUGS ARE BAD KIDS.


  1. Aww, what a lovely post! Love is a wonderful thing, but trust is essential :)

  2. Lovely post x Love and trust are the glue in a successful relationship. I'm blessed with Mr G (my second husband) in that he cares and nurtures just as your husbando does.

  3. The demons teach me, a lot.
    Then again I think everyone we meet has the power to teach us something, if only we have the willingness to learn


  4. Louise Inward4 May 2011 at 22:28

    Really nice post. Sounds like a Grade 1 listed husband!

  5. True...teachers don't pattern, they enable. I think I learn by watching and observing others. Sometimes there's a detail or two I don't get. And sometimes those 'in the know or well connected' won't share things. We all come up against those like that. Just means we're looking at the wrong teachers. That's when it's time to go watch somebody else. Sadly, these days, most professional teachers are FORCED to tattoo fractured bits of innformation onto juvenile brains so that the kids can then 'pass' a standardized test and make the school/district look good.....I'm venting....I've taught too... But we're all teachers, because somebody is always watching...So, what do you want them to learn?...Not just about knowledge...but about you too....And also...I could never rock climb...I'm not afraid of heights in all situations. (can go up in small, rattling, rickety planes) But unless some benevolent, not to repulsive spider glued me on with a real tight web, I'd go 'whoops!' over the side real fast. And then the park rangers would start cursing cause they'd have to scrap me up with a rusty shovel. No, rock climbing is not for me. You have certainly accomplished something. You were TAUGHT well.

  6. Lovely post. I've read those bullet points three times, in the hope I remember them when I next do something new.

    Learning is a leap of faith, even when there's a teacher there to catch you, and remembering to be nice to yourself is important. Thank you for this.

  7. Glad to know you are still learning - you will carry on doing so for the rest of your life as you are open to it. Sadly not everyone is.

    Glad you posted 'drugs are bad kids' apology accepted :-)

    and a final word - Hopefully your neck muscle spasm is better? Your GP gave you a tranquiliser normally associated with depression and anxiety NOT musle spasm (checked this out with a pharmacist) so please stop taking it and take Ibuprofen instead. If that doesn't work you need referral to hospital for an ultrasound to see what's causing the problem. That's my gut feeling anyway but I'm still learning too!

  8. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments.

    Mother could you restrain yourself to motherly advice off line please!